One similarity between cupcakes and muffins is the ingredients. Both usually contain flour, eggs, butter, sugar and milk. However, muffins sometimes replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, oat flour or even various nut flours. Muffins can also be filled with a variety of tasty mix-ins, such as dried fruits, nuts or chocolate chips. In addition, muffins may replace butter with a liquid form of fat, such as vegetable oil. The amount of butter and sugar is higher in cupcakes than in muffins.
The mixing process and the consistency of the batter differentiates cupcakes and muffins. Cupcakes are made by creaming the butter and sugar together to create a smooth, fluffy batter. Cupcake batter is beaten significantly longer than muffin batter; this creates a uniformness of air bubbles throughout the cupcake. Muffin batter, on the other hand, is beaten briefly and remains relatively lumpy. This makes for a more dense baked good.
Being from the Midwest and it's February I just can't get over all these fruit trees here that are brimming with lemons just begging to be picked. I remember two years ago on an afternoon walk I came across this pail and sign
So recently having been gifted with several lemons, I decided they'd be perfect for making Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. But that did pose a problem since I did not have a bread pan. So I shifted gears and turned the recipe into muffins as I had brought that pan with me. I added some leftover blueberries and yogurt for a healthy addition. A drizzle of lemon icing with toasted coconut and almonds and voila!
1-2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 cups powdered sugar
Milk as needed